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happiness books 2

May and June series: Flourish and Bloom

Fewer than 20% of Americans are satisfied with life and functioning well. I must admit that I struggle to consistently be a part of that 20%. A feeling of satisfaction and well-being became more difficult to maintain once my children went off to college. When they were at home, I was busy and had a clear purpose. I did work, but it didn’t fill the gap that existed when they left.

At least 80% of you out there are struggling with me. Let’s struggle no more! The good news is that there are proven steps we can take to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. The other news is that like all worthwhile achievements, it’s going to take some work and commitment. However, I’m sure we are up to the task. Let’s begin to bloom and flourish along with the flowers in May and June.

Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish Model

The picture above is of the books that I own on creating happiness and well-being. Some I’ve read cover-to-cover. Others I’ve skimmed or read in pieces and parts. From all the reading that I’ve done, I created my own model. Here it is:

Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish Model

  1. Peaceful Base. It’s not glamorous or fun, but having a peaceful base from which to launch is a key piece of a flourishing life. A clean and clutter-free environment with routines in place to keep it that way are essential. So is eliminating all unnecessary energy drains.
  2. Physical health. Our bodies are the vehicles that we use to interact with the world, and we want them to function as well as possible for as long as possible. We can’t flourish unless we are at our physical best, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be able to run a marathon or lift 100 pounds. We will talk about creating our own individual standards and expectations for physical fitness.
  3. Positivity spiral. Creating a positivity spiral will help every aspect of your life. Positivity makes everything else easier and even supports our health. The positivity spiral is the thing that will carry us up to higher levels of happiness and well-being.
  4. Flow/Accomplishment/Meaning. This is a long title for knowing your strengths and using them to accomplish things that have true meaning for you.
  5. Positive Relationships. We humans are social creatures, and we function better if we are engaged in positive relationships and have a supportive community.
  6. Spiritual Connectedness. Feeling a connection to a higher being and purpose is another human need. It looks different for different people. You get to decide on the rituals and beliefs that comfort and uplift you.
  7. Financial stability. Oh, money! I am not a financial expert and won’t have a lot to offer as far as how to achieve financial stability. However, I know that it’s a big piece of happiness and fulfillment. Not that money brings happiness, but a lack of money for basic necessities makes it hard to focus on anything else.

sample habit trackerI will discuss each pillar of Kathy’s Bloom and Flourish model in more depth over the next couple of months. I like to talk about the model, but I like action better! To truly create change, we want to create new behaviors. A great tool for that is a habit tracker. You can see from the picture that it’s just one sheet of paper for a month of habit tracking.

I was going to put a free habit tracker on my website, but the one I made is rather plain. You can search online for “printable habit tracker” and get a wide variety of beautiful habit trackers. I have added a page in my bullet journal for tracking habits each month.

We will list the new behaviors down the left side that we want to incorporate into our lives. Then we will check off or fill in the box each day that we perform the behavior. I’m a sticker fan! You can use those tiny stickers or make your own habit tracker that will accommodate bigger stickers. The habit tracker is a tool to help us create new habits that will move us toward a life of happiness and well-being.

I am excited to begin this journey, and I’m glad that you are here to do it with me. I know that anything worthwhile takes effort and self-discipline. I also know that the payoff for doing the work to create an increased sense of happiness, well-being, and satisfaction is going to make the effort totally worthwhile.

For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.

Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.

If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.